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Blackboard Launches Solution for Enhanced Student Identity Verification


--Blackboard Learn Platform Integrates Industry-Leading Acxiom Technology
WASHINGTON, July 23, 2009-- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), a global leader in education technology, today announced the general availability of an integrated solution for enhanced student identity verification, powered by technology from Acxiom((R)) Corporation, a global leader in interactive marketing and risk mitigation services.

The Acxiom Identify-X((TM)) service allows colleges and universities to deploy an enhanced verification program that integrates seamlessly with the Blackboard Learn((TM)) platform and does not interrupt the learning process. Instructors can control when, where and how frequently they verify student identity while maintaining the integrity and privacy of student information. The service does not require institutions to purchase any additional hardware or software.

"While we have researched and evaluated other alternatives, we have found this solution to exceed expectations in our identity verification initiative for our continually growing population of distance learning students," said Steve Clark, Distance Learning Technology Coordinator for Athens State University. "This technology more than meets the requirements set by the Higher Education Opportunity Act in authenticating student identities, and its feasibility and ease of use would vastly increase our faculty's confidence in conducting assessments online."

Institutions will receive a limited number of free verifications based on their total student enrollment and Blackboard license. Most institutions choose not to verify every student for every assessment; instead, random verification of test takers ensures that the process does not become predictable, burdensome or cost prohibitive. The process does not require the release of student information, thereby avoiding any potential issues with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

"We are excited to include a range of industry-leading technologies - from student identity verification to instant messaging and plagiarism prevention - to offer institutions a more powerful e-learning platform," said Matthew Small, Blackboard's Chief Business Officer. "And while the Blackboard platform already offers security protection through end user authentication, this solution allows institutions to further strengthen their identity verification efforts."

After students login to the Blackboard((R)) platform and access a course assessment, Acxiom's technology will periodically and randomly present real-time challenge questions that only the enrolled student will know how to answer. The likelihood of students being required to verify their identity may be determined by instructors at the course level or system administrators at the institutional level.

Access to Identify-X technology is currently available to postsecondary institutions in the United States at no cost as a Blackboard Building Block((TM)) or PowerLink download from Blackboard's client Web site, Behind the Blackboard. The technology is also available to ANGEL Learning clients.

For more information about student verification with Blackboard Learn, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/acxiom.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

About Acxiom

A global leader in interactive marketing services, Acxiom (Nasdaq: ACXM) connects clients with their customers through deep consumer insight, powering effective and profitable marketing initiatives and business decisions. Our consultative approach spans multiple industries and incorporates decades of experience in consumer data and analytics, information technology, data integration and consulting solutions for effective marketing across digital, Internet, email, mobile and direct mail channels. Founded in 1969, Acxiom is headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., and serves clients around the world from locations in the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. For more information about Acxiom, visit www.acxiom.com.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-Q filed on May 7, 2009 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of July 23, 2009. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to July 23, 2009.

Acxiom and Identify-X are registered trademarks of Acxiom Corporation.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.

http://www.blackboard.com